A five-mile stretch of I-40 West in North Carolina will be closed for up to five days next week beginning Monday night.
North Carolina DOT says emergency work on a bridge over Jonathan Creek and White Oak Road is needed due to a recent rapid deterioration of the concrete surface. The interstate will be closed between milemarker 20 and milemarker 15 beginning at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18.
Drivers planning to drive west on I-40 beyond the closure are encouraged to take exit 53B (I-240 West), go five miles to exit 4A (I-26 West) and follow that for 74 miles crossing into Tennessee. They should then take exit 8A for I-81 South and continue 57 miles to get back on I-40 near Dandridge, Tennessee.
NCDOT says the detour from Asheville to Dandridge takes approximately 45 minutes longer than traveling from Asheville through the Pigeon River Gorge.
“This work needs to be done before the bridge conditions deteriorate heading into winter,” said NCDOT maintenance engineer Wesley Grindstaff. “It is unfortunate that we have to close the interstate, but this is the only way to complete the repairs and to do so quickly and safely.”